Aside work adjustment, remote working and running office shifts to reduce crowding, the Coronavirus pandemic has posed a major challenge to the workforce around the world. Since rearing its head in December 2019, it has gone on to cause both temporary and permanent loss of jobs.
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Director-General, global unemployment at the beginning of 2020 stood at 190 million. Currently, the ILO projects that, globally, about 25 million jobs could be affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. The impact of the pandemic on jobs losses cuts across all sectors. However, workers that have been hit the hardest are in the retail and wholesale (482 million), manufacturing (463 million), business services and administration (157 million) and food and accommodation (144 million) sectors. The ILO Director-General indicates that these workers add up to 37.5 per cent of global employment, highlighting the impact of the virus on global employment.
Now, more than ever, there is major pressure on the job market where there already existed few jobs for many qualified people. How then do you get yourself employed?
- Search, Search, Search. It is important to begin or continue job hunting. There is no such thing as a break from searching for a job. Like every activity, the amount of time you invest in job hunting is likely to reflect in the outcome in the long run. For many people, the question of where to find jobs is a bother. In the Ghanaian space, employers use websites such as LinkedIn, Jobberman and JobwebGhana. Other websites which specifically belong to certain organisations include L’Ainée, UNjobs, US embassy (in Ghana), KPMG, Nestlé and Upfield are another option. However, there is the need to exercise caution in job hunting, especially when using general online jobsites which are not regulated by organisations.
- Research. As a jobseeker, you can also go ahead to research about organisations and then drop general applications. It is important to introduce yourself, the reason for your interest in the organisation and how you will contribute to organisational performance. This could go a long way in influencing management to give you some audience. Consider every application as a marketing grounds in which you have the opportunity to sell yourself, your skills, abilities and make your unique experiences relevant to whatever position you are applying for. By introducing yourself, you engage your potential recruiters and give them something concerning you for their consideration. Thus, leaving an imprint of who you are on their minds.
- Upgrade yourself. In this season, there are still many available resources, webinars and online courses one can participate in. Websites such as Alison, Udemy and even some institutions such as Harvard have made some online resources free to access while some of their online courses have reduced prices. Taking this step will help in shaping your skills and abilities. As much as this applies to the formal sector, for instance, taking online Marketing courses, online Coding Classes etc., this also applies to the informal sector. It is possible to sign up for virtual lessons to learn new skills such as soap making, cooking or event planning. A study by Hillman and Knill (2018) indicates that undertaking employment skills training contributes positively to the self-confidence of jobseekers. This can be explained by the fact that jobseekers feel a lot more confident in themselves when they believe in their ability to execute job tasks or duties well. In an article published in the International Journal of Human Resource, Dimopoulos (2020) posits that jobseekers’ confidence influences recruiters’ decision; to hire them and considering them as suitable candidates for the job. Keep your hands and mind busy while keeping your eyes open throughout your job hunt.
- Freelancing. You can explore this venture, relying mainly on whatever skills you have to sell. There are currently websites such as Fiverr, Upwork, Simply Hired, Toptal etc. which give people the opportunity to sell themselves and their services with the hope of getting engaged by people around the world. On such platforms, the ability to market oneself greatly contributes to attracting customers (and so does every step of job hunting). Findings from Upwork indicates that the freelance economy has gone up by about four million people since 2014. This indicates that the freelance economy continues to expand year after year. Indeed, 65% of respondents in an annual survey conducted by Upwork indicated that freelancing offers more job opportunities.
- Volunteering/Interning. Although these ventures often do not come with monthly salaries, they contribute to a jobseeker’s marketability. Volunteering and interning provide opportunities to learn from new challenges and venture into areas which ordinarily one would not. They also help in learning new skills and enhancing your existing abilities. Thus, preparing you for the job market. Currently, GoGiveTime is offering a volunteering opportunity to students and professional. Get on their website; www.gogivetime.org to check out this opportunity.
Job hunting has always proven to be a herculean task. However, by considering the points highlighted, you may just increase your chances of landing yourself a job. Regardless of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, always keep your hope alive, be resilient and keep your eyes opened for a job.
Cover Image source: www.forbes.com